In 2006, I went freelance doing freelance radio production. Fast forward two years, we get to 2008 the market drops out and one by one everybody starts calling me saying, hey, we’re going to have to let you go. We just can’t afford it anymore. So overtime I dwindled down and finally I realized, well, my bills still have to get paid. I’m going to have to get a real job. So I reached out and started looking and I found an ad agency in the area that was hiring for a copywriter. Well, I had 30,000 scripts written over eight years that I’d done for radio stations all over the country. I figured at least I’ve got the experience and I’ve got something that I can actually show for that. This was an automotive dealership agency. And so they hired me as the head copywriter.
I spent the next three months working under a creative director who had just been hired right before I was. So one day, we’re all working, we’re in a large bullpen area, and [the Creative Director] comes in, puts his briefcase down in his office, go walks into the owner’s office. I’m sorry, not the owner’s office, the head of accounting, who was the owner’s father. About an hour later, he comes out and holding his briefcase says, “Hey, thanks everybody for the opportunity. It’s been great. I got to go.” And he leaves. He had apparently resigned. Later I found out he received a job opportunity somewhere else up north that he couldn’t resist. For the next 45 minutes. Everybody in the bullpen kind of just looked around at each other like, “What’s going on?”
I didn’t know what was happening. You have to realize, I was on a deadline. I know art was on a deadline and everybody was waiting for something. I made the decision–I got up, walked into the creative director’s office, started thumbing through the folders and the work orders. We had physical work orders back then and I thought to myself, “Well, let me just go ahead and get these going to get us moving again.” I started handing out the projects. 2 weeks later, the owner, who was also our, head of sales and new business, so he was always off out and about for weeks at a time. He shows up, comes in, walks into “my” office and sits down, puts his feet on the desk and says to me, “So how do you like the job?” And I said, “I mean, I like it.”
He says, “Great! I’m going to go ahead and leave you as the interim creative director. You keep doing the job until I find somebody else more qualified.” What else could I say? I said, “Okay.” And just like that, with no experience other than just kind of being creative. I mean, I guess radio production work might have given me an idea, but suddenly I was in TV commercial land, having to write, create TV commercials and also lead the group. For the next three years, that’s what I did. I made sure that everything ran as smooth as possible. All the while hoping nobody would check my resume and realize that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.